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Learning How to Speed Read
Multiply your self-improvement success
The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.
The idea behind how to speed read is an incredibly useful one – to be able to flick through the pages of a book as quickly as possible and absorb all the information would make you a master of most subjects. It would also be massively useful for a variety of jobs and studying for school. That’s why I looked into it (not because of the studying, because I want to know EVERYTHING). Read on (speedily or otherwise) to find out what I learned.
Basically when we count or read we have to ‘sound out’ the words or numbers in our brain in order to register them; the basic idea behind speed reading then is that you learn to flick your eyes across text and take it in without needing to make the sounds. Absorbing the information without repeating it.
The idea is that by making the sounds in your head you are slowing yourself down and so to read more quickly you need to sound these out faster, or preferably not at all. This type of learning takes a bit of practice. The best method I’ve found is software-driven. You can read many great books about it, but the one my friends and I use is the Speed Reader-X online training course. You (and everyone in your family) can log in, do guided practice tests, and track your progress. It’s a brilliant way to learn and much faster than just trying to read faster.
How to speed read
Given my dedication to giving you everything you need to get started learning how to speed read, here’s the secret…
Get yourself a non-fiction text book and sit it on your lap. Now run your eyes across the text (you can trace the words with our fingers if you like) but try not to form the words with your inner voice, instead try to absorb the meaning but don’t put too much effort in.
Now after you’ve read a page or so, try searching your mind for certain questions. What was the section about? What were the major points of the section? What is the average weight for a male sheep?? At first you should find you’re completely worthless at it (or you’re a freak). But practice daily and you should find yourself improving.
Does speed reading work?
The do-it-yourself method of learning how to speed read has lead to mixed reports and it appears that it works for some and not others. The major difference being the level of commitment to doing it each day to really give your brain and eyes a work out.
Another reason why a guided system works best. It keeps you interested and you actually get to watch your progress. Learning can be fun?!
Is language the key?
This does highlight the interesting link between language and thought. Studies have regularly shown that concepts that don’t exist in the language of a culture cannot be grasped by those who speak it. More interestingly, different languages have been shown to solve problems more quickly than others.
If you’re asked a question that requires some thought, you need to sound out your own reasoning in your mind. It stands to reason then that if you’re using longer words and more clumsy grammar you will take longer to come to a conclusion. If, however, you were to develop a “mental shorthand,” then you could essentially think quicker.
How cool would you be having your own code language just for your brain?
The amount of effort you would have to put in to learn a new code language that flows naturally would be intense and probably not worth the effort (unless you are young when you stumble upon this article). On the other hand, something like text-speak, or Northern English speak or cockney, “I’m off t’shop” could realistically replace conventional English and shave off a few precious seconds.
Teachers and parents try so adamantly to prevent kids from using text speak and slang but it has developed for a reason. Texting is simply way more efficient especially before phones with complete keyboards built-in. Perhaps we should stop living in the past and actually encourage children to cut corners. They might be able to train their brains to work twice as fast. At that age, children could learn to speak that way completely naturally and fluently and we could quickly improve the processing speed of an entire generation. Ah I could change the world, if only they would listen…
I leave it to those of you who find this interesting to develop your own code and see what results you get. I suggest you take a couple days to try the method of how to speed read as suggested above. If you get encouraging results, move on to the Speed Reader-X course and really blow your mind.
You can also start learning to cut corners and try my suggestion and simply sound the words out in cockney or text-speak in your head when you read. That’ll shave some time off your reading, jus’ don’ fget n’ start speekin’ like i’.